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Acupuncture and Pregnancy

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a safe and effective addition to healthcare throughout your pregnancy. I will work with your OB/GYN doctor to determine the best route for you in conjunction with the care you are already receiving. Many women wish to take as few medications as possible during pregnancy; acupuncture may be used as an alternative to many medications in order to alleviate challenging pregnancy side effects such as constipation, headaches, digestive complaints, fatigue, morning sickness and mood swings.

I treat my pregnant patients with a combination of nutritional counseling and acupuncture. I also help my patients to prepare for conception. This is especially helpful for women who have been on birth control pills for a length of time prior to deciding to get pregnant. Many women may experience irregular menstrual cycles after discontinuing birth control pills, and acupuncture and herbal medicine can help to remedy this situation. In addition, dietary changes, acupuncture, and herbal remedies can help a woman to feel her best in order to aid in an easy conception and healthier pregnancy.

acupunctur needles - pregnancy

Acupuncture is beneficial during each stage of pregnancy as well as following delivery, and may be used prior to conception through post-partum care to ensure a happy and healthy pregnancy, labor, and recovery for both women and their babies.

woman holding pregnant belly
During Pregnancy

Miscarriage Prevention - There are a number of causes of miscarriage, including chromosomal abnormalities, illness, problems with the uterus or cervix, and hormonal imbalances. Traditional Chinese Medicine may help to prevent miscarriage from occurring when used prior to conception, particularly those caused by hormonal imbalances. Acupuncture may affect the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, which are important in helping to produce progesterone, which is essential to the proper development of the uterine lining. Repetitive miscarriage may be a complex situation diagnosed by your gynecologist or hematologist. I will work with you and your medical team to help support and strengthen your body to help change and alleviate this challenging medical situation.


Morning Sickness, Nausea, and Vomiting - Characterized by nausea and vomiting, morning sickness is often at its worst during the first trimester, disappearing by the onset of the second. It can, of course, affect you throughout your pregnancy and strikes at any time of the day. Patients experiencing severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum), with vomiting as many as 10-15 times per day, may be prescribed anti-nausea medication by their doctors. Acupuncture may be used as an alternative to some of these medications, or may be used as an adjunct to them in order to lessen the side effects of the medications. Gentle herbal remedies, as well as simple dietary changes may also help to alleviate morning sickness.


Fatigue - The chief complaint of many of my pregnant patients is fatigue. This is perfectly normal and often the result of the growing baby tapping mom's resources. Pregnancy also impacts your hormones, in particular, progesterone. The major increase in this hormone can lead to extreme fatigue. My first recommendation is perhaps the most obvious, but most often overlooked: rest and sleep. If your body tells you it's tired, it probably is. Second, I will help you to evaluate your diet, ensuring that it is as nourishing as possible, providing both you and your baby with enough energy to keep you going throughout the day. Third, acupuncture is a wonderful option that forces you to take time for you, providing a much-needed opportunity to relax. At the same time, acupuncture helps improve circulation, providing increased nourishment throughout your body while relaxing the nervous system.

Constipation - Like many of the challenges of pregnancy, constipation can be attributed to hormonal surges - particularly progesterone, which decreases peristalsis, which aids in moving food through your digestive tract. Nutritional counseling is important to alleviate constipation, which can also lead to hemorrhoids for many pregnant women. Fibre-rich foods and increasing water consumption is key to helping your body. Additionally, acupuncture can help to increase digestive function.


Heartburn - Heartburn or GERD occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, causing irritation and a burning sensation in your chest. There are many causes of traditional heartburn, but during pregnancy, it is typically caused by an increase in the hormone progesterone. Progesterone relaxes the muscles of the uterus during pregnancy, and also affects the valve that separates the esophagus from your stomach. Based on an individual diagnosis, I may make nutritional recommendations to help alleviate discomfort. Additionally, acupuncture can help regulate any hormonal and digestive imbalances.

pregnant woman doing yoga
child holding pregnant woman's belly

Edema and Swelling - From swollen feet, ankles and hands to a puffy face, many women experience swelling during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Your ever growing, constantly changing body has more fluid circulating, which can lead to mild swelling, especially toward the end of the day and during warmer weather. Acupuncture is an effective treatment of mild swelling during pregnancy.


Sciatica and Back Pain - As many as 75 percent of pregnant women experience back pain and sciatica during pregnancy, particularly as they approach delivery. The pain ranges from mild to severe and often affects your ability to get a good night's rest. Acupuncture often relieves back pain and is a safe alternative to certain medications.


Migraines - About 15 percent of women who get migraines do so for the first time during pregnancy. Accompanied by severe throbbing pain, sensitivity to light and noise, a migraine can last as long as several days. Many women do not want to take medication for migraines when they are pregnant, and often acupuncture can keep pregnancy migraines under control without medication.

Labor & Delivery

Breech Presentations - Many women would rather avoid pain medication and epidurals during labor. Acupuncture is an alternative that can help manage labor pain without the drowsiness, slowed labor and limited mobility. It works by increasing circulation, releasing opioid peptides, and relaxing the nervous system, which often allows for a smoother delivery. By having acupuncture in the weeks prior to your due date, you can assist your body in having a smoother and more productive labor and delivery.
Labor Induction - Women who pass their due dates are typically motivated to induce labor, but may have reservations about doing so with medications. There are specific acupuncture points that can be triggered that can aid in uterine contractions and, hopefully, the onset of labor. Acupuncture is also an effective means of strengthening weak contractions during labor.

Pain Management - Many women would rather avoid pain medication and epidurals during labor. Acupuncture is an alternative that can help manage labor pain without the drowsiness, slowed labor and limited mobility. It works by increasing circulation, releasing opioid peptides, and relaxing the nervous system, which often allows for a smoother delivery.

Birthing Centre
woman holding newborn
After Your Baby's Birth

Post-Partum Depression - At last, your baby has arrived - and so has a case of the blues. Depression is very common both during and after pregnancy, caused by the hormonal rollercoaster your body is enduring. The symptoms of fatigue, weight fluctuation, emotional mood swings and insomnia - can be confused with a typical woman's experiences post pregnancy. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a very effective treatment for depression, serving to regulate the hormones and bringing balance to your body. A safe alternative for breastfeeding women, acupuncture is both relaxing and invigorating and can be a welcome respite for a new mom.

Mastitis - Inflammation of the breast is a painful condition in which your breast appears red, feels hot and might be accompanied by flu-like symptoms. Acupuncture and herbal medicine may be an effective alternative to antibiotics for some new mothers, and can help women avoid recurrent mastitis.

Lactation - Nursing your baby can prove both challenging and physically draining. Acupuncture not only helps reinvigorate tired moms, it may help increase your milk supply after just one treatment.

Post-Cesarean - Recovery following a C-Section can be slow and painful. Acupuncture and other TCM remedies can be a very effective way to speed up the healing process by increasing circulation to the operative site.

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